Showing posts from March, 2012

Media Morsels 3.30.12

Leap of Faith
Join Raul Esparza and company as they record two songs from Leap of Faith for a radio commercial. Then, head over to to purchase tickets to the show, which begins previews next week!!! Now. Here. This.
The latest collaboration from the [title of show] team is back at the Vineyard Theatre. (Readers may remember that it had a week-long lab run at the Vineyard this summer. I LOVED it.) This full production opened on Thursday (see photos here and here), but earlier in the week, the Vineyard announced that the poignant and wonderfully expressive show would play an extra week! Visit Playbill for more details about the extension; head over to for interviews with the creators; and then run to the Vineyard box office to purchase tickets. (I'm seeing it this weekend - I'll bring you a full report on this iteration next week!)

Sutton is Sassy!
You remember that Sutton Foster departed Anything Goes to go film the series Bunheads, right? Well …

Godspell Talk Back - Uzo Aduba

The hit revival production of Stephen Schwartz's Godspell is enjoying a run at Circle in the Square, where the theatre-in-the-round set up helps engender a sense of community. Furthering that sense is a series of talk backs after the show on Tuesday nights. I recently had the chance to see the peppy musical again, staying for a talk back with Uzo Aduba. After the talk back, the good folks behind Godspell arranged for me to have an email interview with Uzo, and very I'm excited to share that "chat" with you. Read on to learn more about the talented Uzo, including the lovely and inspiring meaning behind her name!
It’s been noted that during the audition process, actors were asked to improvise so producers and the director could get to know their personalities. (During the talk back, you said of the experience, “I love the inventiveness of art.” I love that!) Once the show was cast, these personalities were woven into the production. Can you talk about what parts of Uzo …

Media Morsels 3.23.12

Springtime is Play Time
Spring is officially here, and with it comes a plethora of great plays. Here's some info about springtime play time on Broadway:Venus in Fur - I saw this in November when it was playing a limited run through the non-profit Manhattan Theatre Club. It's back for a spring, commercial run, and it's as intense and provocative and extraordinary as ever. Below, you can watch the "trailer" for this sexual power play, and then head over to to watch Hugh Dancy discuss the classicism and power of Venus in Fur.

Peter and the Starcatcher - Star stuff is coming to Broadway. This was magical when it played at the New York Theatre Workshop early last year, and I have no doubt that co-directors Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Roger Rees will bring the same magic to the Broadway iteration. NYTW stars Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Chanler-Berat and Christian Borle are reprising their roles. Previews begin March 28, and in anticipation,…

Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ, what is happening at the Neil Simon? I’m just going to come right out and say it, dear readers: Jesus Christ Superstar is awful. I gave serious consideration to walking out during intermission. (But then I heard Ben Folds singing (in my head), “I paid my money,” and I stayed.) Unfortunately, because of the marquee value of a certain hippie, the tourists are likely to come in droves. But heed my warning and take advice from another (better) musical about Jesus: Turn back, old man!
Let’s separate the show from the production. At first, I thought I could split the blame about 75-25, show to production. After speaking with a colleague who hasn’t seen this production but did walk out of the previous Broadway revival of this Andrew Lloyd Webber–Tim Rice pop-opera, I think it’s more 90-10. 
One of the major problems with this show is that there is a supposition that you already know Jesus’s story, and that going into the show, Jesus is your homeboy. If that is actually the cas…

Media Morsels 3.16.12

Professor Bruce Springsteen
At the SXSW festival this week, Bruce Springsteen (whose Wrecking Ball is absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) gave the key note address, or as he called it, a "key notes" address. The evergreen rock and roller basically took those in attendance on a tour through the history of rock and roll. Even if you're not a Springsteen fan (for shame!), if you're a music fan you'll thrill over this. Hearing The Boss talk about music lets you know that everything's all right. Luckily, NPR recorded the speech and has made it available for those of us who couldn't be in Austin. Head over to to listen to the rousing address.

Peter and the Starcatcher
As I teased last week, the cast and creative team of Peter and the Starcatcher met the press. This week brought full coverage of the event., and all have photos, and watch below as directors Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Roger …

Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman is the 99%. That’s the thought that was running through my mind (and continues to) while I watched this starry revival of the Arthur Miller Pulitzer Prize-winning classic Death of a Salesman. We’re all familiar with the story, right? Willy Loman (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a down-on-his-luck salesman who is trying to support his wife, Linda (Linda Emond). They have two adult sons, Biff (Andrew Garfield) and Happy (Finn Wittrock), both of whom happen to be staying with their parents at the start of the play. Willy and Biff have an estranged and complicated relationship, which provides never-ending stress for Linda. Fathers and sons. Biff’s whole arc revolves around trying to not be like his father. He’s trying, somewhat desperately, to be his own man, disillusioned by the father whom he once idolized but has nevertheless let him down. He doesn’t want to end up like Willy, but he does want something from life – if only he could figure out what. Indeed, the most compelling …

Media Morsels 3.9.12

Leap of Faith
The talented cast of the upcoming Leap of Faith, led by Raul Esparza and Jessica Phillips, gave select members of the press a preview of what to expect when the show begins previews at the St James Theatre on April 3. Watch a full preview of "Into the Light" (I can't stop singing it!) and's video medley, both below. also has video of the sneak peek, including interviews with Esparza, Phillips and others. (From the looks of Esparza's movements, he's going to have some major knee problems by the end of the run if he's not wearing knee pads. Be careful, Raul!) Check out featured cast members at right (photo from, and visit and for more photos from the event. I'm so excited for this, and I hope you are too! Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. (If the video doesn't load properly, click here to watch it…

The Big Meal

It’s shows like The Big Meal that make me (a) proud to subscribe to off-Broadway, playwright-fostering houses (like Playwrights Horizons, home to this production) and (b) hopeful that theatre and other creative arts won’t soon be completely overtaken by too-safe and artistically bereft ventures. This funny and poignant generational play by Dan LeFranc centers on a couple from the first time they meet and on through their life. Lovers, great-grandparents, children and other family members come and go, and at the end we are left with this overwhelming but hopeful sense that the circle of life is never ending and that our families continue to grow even as certain members leave. I’m finding it difficult to sufficiently describe the play, particularly the significance and power of the title, without giving away too much. You know, dear readers, that most of the time I encourage organic discovery in theatre, rather than going into a show knowing every single plot point. So, I’ll leave it …

Media Morsels 3.2.12

Nina Arianda on Show People
The luminescent Nina Arianda, currently giving a revelatory performance in the commercial Broadway run of Venus in Fur, sat down with's Paul Wontorek to chat about life these days. From her crushes on recent Oscar winner Christopher Plummer and the Fonz to speaking Ukringlish, Ms. Arianda is lovely and frank. And, she has excellent taste: after the show, she likes to go home and watch Downton Abbey! Visit to watch the interview and head over to to learn more about the show and purchase tickets.

Oscar Wrap Up
The Oscars have come and gone, but people are still buzzing. As I mentioned in my wrap up, sometimes the better films go home without top honors. Others agree. On, they looked at the "Most Overrated Best Picture Winners," and the films that should have won instead. (Example: The King's Speech is overrated and The Social Network should have won.

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers recoun…